I am probably what is called a fiscal conservative and social liberal. I am careful with money but like my social security and my medicare, the former of which I paid into for 56 years, the latter of which I paid into for 47 years. I am still paying medicare premiums out of my social security check. These are not government freebies. I paid for them just as I did any other insurance program, and I expect the government to manage them properly. I do not belong to the NRA or the AARP, but I am a gun owner. I grew up in west Texas shooting rattlesnakes and jackrabbits. My guns have never been used as a threat to human beings - only deer, turkeys, one hog and a a lot of snakes. The problem is not the guns but the people who use them.
Yes, there needs to be strict laws in an attempt to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. The focus needs to be on the user not on the guns. The user is the problem. The obviously mentally ill shooter in Newtown, Ct. The hate-filled Muslim soldier in Fort Hood, Texas. The user. Greater responsibility. Greater safety incentives.
Yes, there are hunting accidents. We all grieve with those who have lost loved ones. I understand the unbearable pain that tries to push one over the edge. Do we forbid all hunting? Do we take away all guns. No.
What about my right to protect my home and property? What about the second amendment? I have thought about that for a long time, years in fact. Could I kill an intruder? Is my stuff worth more than a human life? The church where I pastor was vandalized and set on fire in 2007. The police charged two teens and put them on trial. Both were found guilty. The insurance company lowballed our claim and I had to work full time for more than four years (at age 70 to 74) in order to restore the building. But at the trial, I embraced one of the boys and encouraged him to seek God. Could I actually shoot a person? Maybe. If a life was threatened. If a "rattlesnake" came into my house. It is still the user. Who uses the gun.
Focus on the user of the gun when making the ownership laws stricter. Focus on the user when creating safety standards. It is the user. Not the gun.